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THINGS TO DO IN BAGUIO: Cultural Art and Food Discovery Tour in Baguio City

Things to do in Baguio Travel Guide Blogs

Recently, this Pinoy Adventurista contributor joined fellow travel and lifestyle writers on a Baguio Discovery Tour hosted by Azalea Hotels & Residences Baguio. Despite having visited the City of Pines more than a dozen of times in the past, there’s always something new to discover in this city. On this trip, we dined at numerous restaurants that further presented the rich-tasting gastronomical culture of Baguio and some heritage and cultural arts landmarks of the city. In a lot of way, this discovery tour of Baguio supplemented the belief that even with previous excursions to this summer capital of the Philippines, a return trip to Baguio is always a winning travel choice.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Pinoy Adventurista contributor Marky of Nomadic Experiences

Here’s a brief rundown of the places.

The Foodie Tour Stops


Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Foggy Mountain Cookhouse's Salmon Pie

Foggy Mountain Cookhouse


This hilltop residence turned into a delightful nook for foodies dishes a charming alfresco vibe. Overlooking the misty scenery of Baguio—Foggy Mountain Cookhouse is owned by the amiable Chef Babes Reyes. Guests are required to reserve seats a day in advance and pre-order from the menu comprised by a medley of cuisines Chef Babes Reyes learned from his global travels. Elevated fusions of worldly fares such as the Salmon Pie, Greek Peasant Lamb, Grilled Chipotle Pork Chop, Brick-oven roasted lamb leg, Crispy Squid Fries and many more, are the perfect choices for your group to feast over here.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Yummy pizza at Secret Garden

Secret Garden


A not-so-secret place anymore—thanks to several rave reviews recommending this place for it’s mouth-watering choices of pasta and pizza. Aside from the food selections which includes this writer’s favorites: the cheese heavy Quatro Formaggi 8, Beef Belly Roast and the Vongole in Tomato Sauce, Secret Garden’s ambiance of being tucked in the middle of towering pine trees, is another reason to dine at this place.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Cathy poses at one of the instagrammabel corners of Lemon and Olives

Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna


Although old houses being turned into a restaurant is a common theme in Baguio City, Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna instill a different feel. Summoning the classic country vibe of Baguio City, "instagrammable corners" fills every corner of the place to also appeal to the younger foodie crowd. Aesthetics aside, the food served here—said to be as almost similar to eating in Greece—is the best reason why you must check this place out. Fancied Greek staple food such as Pita Hummus, Pastitsio pasta, Souvlaki Pates, Athens Burger, and more—are elevated and served with their house specialty dessert and wine collections.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna

Kuya J’s at Azalea Residence


Kuya J is a local hole-in-the-wall that catapulted to a nationwide chain. Its bevy of well-cooked Filipino dishes fits appetizingly in every setting—especially in the cold climate of Baguio City. Staying at Azalea Residence in Baguio will have you enjoying a double dose of convenience as you can easily go down and dine at their in-house restaurant—a branch of Kuya J—where you can enjoy all-time Filipino food favorites like: Kuya J Bulalo, Sinigang na Baboy, Pochero Tagalog, Sizzling Sisig, Bicol Express and more.

Oh, My Gulay


As Baguio's first vegetarian restaurant, Oh My Gulay has become a food institution that is always included in numerous Where to Eat in Baguio listicle articles. Serving an array of colorful dishes in creative plating, Oh My Gulay convinces pessimists that becoming a vegetarian or a vegan-curious eater is a good thing after all. The atmosphere inside OMG also expresses ingenuity as it also doubles as an art space for the emerging artists of the Cordillera region.

Tsokolateria


Tsokolateria is an outdoor nook situated at the foot of Igorot stairs. Serving a menu heavy on the chocolate side sourced from cocoa farms in Baguio, Davao and Cotabato, Tsokolateria has come up with exceptional selection of dishes. Must-tries includes: the Tsokolateria Salad, Homemade Bacon Belly, Tablea Champorado with espada fish, Churros Bites and of course some hot servings of either the Tsokolate ah (sweeter) and Tsokolate eh (a bit on the bitter side).

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Cafe 1945's Paella Negra

Craft 1945


A sister company of Baguio Craft Brewery, Craft 1945 is another gem of a place to dine in the City of Pines. Housed inside a two-story heritage house with alfresco garden, Craft 1945 serves a memorable set of fine dishes such as: Gambas Aligue, Tips Ala Pobre, Paella Negra and Marinera, Kalderatang Baka and more. While waiting for your main course to be served, munch on a plateful of baby pandesal and pair your food with a glass of drink from their selection of local craft beers.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Stops


Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Inside one of the galleries at Bencab Museum

BenCab Museum


Housing the artworks and collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, BenCab Museum features his works and other paintings centering on indigenous Cordillera art made by other Filipino painters and modern-day artists. The museum features different galleries such as: Erotica Gallery, BenCab Gallery, Cordillera Gallery, Sepia Gallery, Philippine Contemporary Art Gallery 1 and 2, Mastero Gallery, Patio Salvador, Print Gallery and Larawan Hall. The museum also has a cafe where you can relax while you stare at the scenic landscape and small pond surrounding the museum.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Inside Baguio Museum

Baguio Museum


If you're pressed for time to also visit the other provinces of the Cordillera region and beyond, the Baguio Museum is an ideal stop to fish out educational information about the culture and tradition of people from Benguet, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Abra, Apayao and Kalinga. The museum has a section for each province displaying relics, traditional clothing, other artifacts and dioramas detailing local way of life and other customs and traditions.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Cultural Dance

Tam-Awan Village Baguio


Tam-Awan village is an open-air museum where you can see a reconstructed Cordillera village showcasing local culture and traditions to visitors. Inside this spacious garden is a maze of footpaths leading to an art gallery, coffee shop and traditional huts. Numerous times during the day, a cultural performance is held.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Marky of Nomadic Experiences at Diplomat Hotel Ruins

Dominican Hill Retreat House (Diplomat Hotel Ruins)


This structure formerly known as the Dominican Hill Retreat House was built in 1913 by American Friars belonging to the Order of Preachers aka Dominican Order. During World War II, it became a refugee camp before being invaded by the Japanese and turned into a garrison. It is said that during this time, brutal executions and tortures committed by the Japanese secret police Kempeitai took place here. In 1973, the property was transformed into a 33-bedroom hotel but still retaining its original architectural design. The hotel ceased operation in 1987 after the owner's death and laid in ruins up to this day.

I was expecting to be creeped out. Instead, I found the decrepit appearance of the Old (and haunted, according to some) Diplomat Hotel imaginatively fascinating. A mixed bag of mystique—WWII horror tales, early 1900's backstory, renaissance architecture and abandonment—surround this oddity of a place with a magnetism even 'lost souls' find bewitching.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
The colorful houses at StoBoSa

The Colorful Houses at StoBoSa


Our first stop during our tour was at the houses at StoBoSa—which is a smaller version of the vibrant favelas of Brazil. The colorful houses of StoBoSa (sitios Stonehill, Botiwtiw, and Sadjap) in La Trinidad, Benguet was the product of a collaboration between DOT Cordillera and the Tam-awan artist village group. It was conceptualized based on the favela paintings of Brazil by former TPB (Tourism Promotions Board) COO Venus Tan when she was the DOT-CAR head in 2016.

Things to do in Baguio Tourist Spots and where to eat in Baguio
Azalea Hotels and Residences Baguio

Where to Stay in Baguio?


Azalea Hotels and Residences is the ideal choice of place to stay if you’re traveling with your family or a group of friends. Featuring 99 rooms all furnished with full-apartment amenities, it also comes with options of deluxe, one-bedroom suite, one-bedroom loft, two-bedroom loft, two-bedroom suite and a three-bedroom suite. All rooms come with a living area, kitchen and dining.

Azalea also has their in-house restaurants: 8 Degrees Bar and Kuya J's.

Azalea Hotels & Residences Baguio



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